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Kevin leaned back in the chair and surveyed the room around them. Most of the other diners in the back area were focused more on each other or their phones than taking stock of who else was sitting in the small restaurant. He knew that there shouldn't be anyone inside taking their photo or watching them for signs of their relationship, all of that had been orchestrated to happen outside. Alexis and the PR team and hit that one out of the park. By noon photographs of their kiss would be all over the web. He hoped it had appeared believable enough. Hell the moment Nick's mouth had opened beneath his lips, it had worked for him. He fought hard to control the groan that tried to bubble up from the depths of his throat every time he thought about that kiss. Thought about the way Nick had felt pressed up against him in the elevator or the way their hands seemed perfectly suited to slide into one another's at any given time. These were thoughts he tried desperately to keep out of his head, especially in the presence of the other man. He was half afraid the true nature of his feelings would play out across his face for the other man to see. The other half was afraid the need, the desire to have the other man at his will would become too much for him to keep under wraps in this new dynamic they'd found themselves in and he wouldn't be able to stop himself. Had he been unable to stop himself the other night? Is that why Nick was scratched to hell? Had he completely lost control in the company of the other man and done the unthinkable?

The other man was fidgeting in his seat, unable to focus on anything for more than a few seconds. Kevin knew their morning run in with the media had gotten to him. He himself was surprised there had been so many people lined up to catch the first glimpses of Kevin and Nick, the newlyweds instead of just Kevin and Nick, Backstreet Boys. It seemed ludicrous to him that other people should care so much about who he was sleeping with or married to. Or actually in this case who he was not sleeping with, but was indeed married to.

He knew he needed to be the one to reach out, he needed to be the one that set the peace, or at least get the younger man to agree to some semblance of a truce. This had been going on for far too long and now, well, now they were married and they had no choice but to spend the next year and a half pretending to be in love. At the very least they needed to be able to get through meals together without killing each other.

Not to mention their sleeping arrangements. There was no way he was going to let Nick sleep on the floor again. He had no idea what the solution was yet, but he knew the guilt would only lead to more sleepless nights for himself unless they got something figured out. He would have to do some more thinking on that one.

He chuckled softly to himself, drawing the attention of the other blonde. His blue eyes flicked up to meet Kevin's jade green ones.
"What's funny?" he asked softly.

Kevin shook his head with a wave. "I was just thinking that this is the longest we've gone without ripping each other's heads off. If the guys could see us sitting here having a quiet breakfast they'd probably die of shock."

Nick smirked and nodded. "Yeah, I was thinking the same thing earlier. I just didn't want to jinx us."

The table went silent as each man was consumed with eating their meals.

"Nick," Kevin started softly. He looked up from pushing his food around on his plate. "I think we should talk."

Nick's eyebrows raised as he lifted his water glass to his lips to take a drink. "About?"

"This. Us." Kevin said gesturing with his hands. "I think we need to come to some kind of truce. We can't keep fighting and manage to get through the next year. We're going to have to put the past behind us and try to be friendly enough to make this whole charade work."

Nick just stared blankly at him for several minutes. The waitress came and went, clearing their plates and bringing their check. Still Nick stared at him, unmoving. Kevin wasn't sure what to say. He knew Nick had heard him, shit, he was still staring at him, but still no response.

"Nick." he started again.

Nick pushed his chair back and stood. He quickly looked around the room before turning back to the table and Kevin. "I'm not the one who stated any of this. It always started with you. So if you want it to go away, if you want to put it behind us, that you've got to figure exactly what I ever did to make you hate me so much and then you need to come up with a damn good apology for treating me like absolute garbage for fifteen years. " without another word or glance at the older man, Nick turned and left Kevin sitting at the table.


Kevin didn't have to think long about when all of this stated. His only regret was it ever went as far as it did. What started out as a simple way to distance the young boy from his growing feelings somehow turned twisted and hateful. Year after year it got worse until it was easier to hate than to allow himself to love. The distance he created between them allowed him space to be able to work and be in close proximity without the primal urge he felt to take over. Of course none of this was anything he could ever tell anyone, so he'd made stupid excuses about being done being the big brother, that he didn't want to have to take care of other people when he was trying so desperately to take care of himself. After the first few months Nick had stated to notice that Kevin was no longer available to come to with problems or nightmares. Kevin never allowed them to be alone in the same room together either. Once Nick had picked up on the fact that Kevin was treating him differently they started fighting all the time. Once Nick started fighting back, and picking fights it got a lot easier to push him away.

And now, now they were married. Forced to be around each other 24/7 for the next year or so. Kevin could already feel those long buried feelings unboxing themselves and spreading. He knew if he wasn't careful this was going to get out of control quickly. His mind and body were still reeling from that kiss. Had he known, had any inkling about how their lips would feel against each other years ago, there would have been no way he could have stopped himself. He was more convinced now than ever that they probably had slept together the other night. That fact alone, made him sick, not because of what they'd done, but because the first time he'd slept with the man he'd wanted, loved, since he was 13 years old was a drunken mistake he couldn't remember.

He finished his breakfast and got up from the table. He wasn't sure where Nick had gone. He wasn't sure he was ready to face him yet either. He wasn't even sure what he would be able to say to the other man. He deserved the truth, after years of this shit he supposed they both did. But it wouldn't be easy and somehow he knew this would end up causing more hostility between them.

Exiting the restaurant he was relieved to see the media circus from before was gone. He quickly made his way to the elevator and was pleased when no one else boarded with him. Glancing at his watch he knew there was quite a bit of time before they had to leave for the arena. Hopefully the room was clear and he could take a nap, but he had a sneaky suspicion that he wouldn’t find an empty hotel room.


Nick paced the floor of the hotel room. He was hurt, no scratch that he was pissed. How dare Kevin try to insinuate that this was his fault, that their entire relationship, or lack thereof, was his responsibility. He had been so young when Kevin had turned on him. It was almost overnight the man had gone from someone Nick could depend on to someone who only wanted to cause Nick pain or hurt his feelings. He had spent so much time the first few years crying, running to Brian every single time Kevin said or did something to hurt his feelings. The man could look at him the wrong way and Nick would be a mess for the next several hours. And still he continued his hateful regime, calling him names or even worse ignoring his presence all together. Nothing Nick ever did seemed to change anything. It was like Nick breathing was enough to set the other man off. It was miserable and he hated it. Every break he would go home, ignore the others to give himself time to unwind from the constant fear of being attacked. More than once they had punched each other in the face, and on one instance when Nick was in his early 20s Kevin hit him hard enough to send him to the ER with a concussion.

He flopped down on the bed in frustration and exhaustion. Instantly he realized his mistake. The bedding smelled so strongly of the other man Nick could have sworn he was right there, curled up next to him. His mind immediately drifted back to the moment that morning in the elevator. How it had felt to be pressed so closely, his own lips inches away from his skin. And if that wasn’t enough, as soon as he’d calmed himself down from that little episode, he’d been immediately wrapped up in his embrace with Kevin’s lips on his. The whole thing had been completely overwhelming. If Kevin hadn’t had such a firm grasp on his upper body, he would surely have hit the floor the moment Kevin’s tongue had slipped inside his mouth. It was like nothing Nick had ever experienced before. He had literally seen fireworks in his closed eyes and felt like he was floating on air. What did it matter that the thing he’d wished, hoped and longed for his entire life was only happening because of this horrible situation? The feelings were still there. The whole thing made it hard for Nick to breath.

Nick closed his eyes and pushed himself up on the bed until his head hit the pillows. It felt good to lay down and stretch out after the floor. He buried his face into Kevin’s pillow and inhaled the deep woodsy scent of the other man. What would it hurt to take a nap here, curled up where Kevin had been only hours earlier. Maybe things wouldn’t seem so grim after a nap.